Imagine, if you will, a world where multiple gods roam the land, benevolent and dark alike, and all these gods can entomb themselves in those they find to be worthy—whether for good or ill. Now, imagine that some of those evil gods blessed a knight with power hungry intentions, who then killed the ruling family and took over the world, essentially, plunging the kingdom into a reign of tyranny and terror, where his most loyal knights also took in gods of similar temperament to help keep “order” in the land. Of course, in a situation like that you’re going to get a band of determined rebels set on freeing the land of the demon king. Which sets them on a quest to acquire their own friendly gods and their powers in order to stand a chance against this evil king—for a price, of course. But, now, imagine that the way this group of rebels gets around and fights back is via the help of sky pirates. Are you sold yet? You should be! This was such a unique take on magic and godly power, good versus evil, and who can say no to ships that fly and the sassy pirates who command them? But, the one thing this book doesn’t fully deliver on, is the promise of romance that I was given when the author sent me her book.
The story has a very, very slow burn romance. So slow to the point of where I’d barely call it "romance" in this book as the characters are still learning to get to know and trust each other. It would give it an “enemies to lovers” vibe, except the characters aren’t really even rivals, just distrustful and a bit annoyed by each other. However, I did really like that so many characters were LGBTQ—specifically lesbian—and how the story was never about their sexuality. It didn’t define them and it was just never a thing. It was just a small part of who they were and that was really refreshing in this type of fantasy adventure. Be forewarned though, that much like many other fantasy adventures, this story also has moments of extreme graphic violence. It always makes sense with the plot and goes to show the kind of forces our heroes are up against, but just be aware in case that’s something you are sensitive to.
I really liked the contrast between the two female lead characters too! You have mysterious, beautiful, righteous Ferrah who doesn’t let anyone get too close, never reveals anything personal, but has such a strong conviction on what is right and wrong and how to make things better, that she is a perfect moral compass. Her strong will makes her a natural leader, but also makes her cold and oblivious to personal matters to the point that it’s almost laughable. But that’s where Feras comes in, with her humor, her love of a good time and loyalty to her crew. She sees the world for how it is, realistic, but never fatalistic. She’s pure fun and danger with a soft core, so whenever she and Ferrah interact, they butt heads because each has different methods and ideas about how to go about doing something. I will say that Feras was my favorite character through, I loved how she would tell it like it is without the idealist views a lot of the rebels had about getting this revolution going.
The creativity of the different gods and their powers was really interesting to see, and while it felt like getting to these deities was a bit too easy at times, figuring out how to use their godly powers never was. For a debut novel and series, “A Flight in the Heavens” does a fabulous job setting up the long-term plot for the series. Enough gets accomplished in this first book that I never felt like the book ended before it truly started, but there are enough mysteries and teases—plus a sort of cliffhanger ending—to where I am intrigued and eager to find out what happens next! I just wish the romance aspects had entered the story perhaps a little sooner, and that there was more of a challenge when acquiring the theurgy of the gods on occasion, which is why I am giving this book 4 stars, but all my issues are personal preferences rather than anything wrong with the book itself. This was a really fun fantasy adventure with steampunk flavors, and I can’t wait to see what happens next for the characters! And thanks to the author for sending me a copy for an honest review.
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